LeBron James will be the biggest domino to fall during free agency. If LeBron is 1a, San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard will be 1b going forward.
Leonard's relationship with the Spurs has soured after he missed all but nine games of the 2017-18 season with a quad injury. The two parties allegedly disagreed on how to handle the injury, leading to the discord.
Two weeks ago, Kawhi's camp leaked that he wanted out of San Antonio. Since then, rumors have been flying as to where Leonard will play during the 2018 season. Will he remain with the Spurs, or will Gregg Popovich and company swallow their pride and move their superstar?
ESPN's panel of experts took on that challenge and predicted where Kawhi will begin (and end) the upcoming NBA season. Hint: He'll likely play for two different teams.
Where Kawhi will START the season:
Where Kawhi will FINISH the season:
It looks like a long shot for the Spurs to repair their relationship with Kawhi. With Leonard heading into the final year of his contract (he has a player option for the 2019-2020 season) it would make sense for the Spurs to get some return in a Kawhi trade.
Otherwise, the Spurs will see him walk in free agency following the 2018-19 season. San Antonio will have to decide what to do with their two-time Defensive Player of the Year by the February 2019 trade deadline.
Stay tuned for the latest free agency news.